Marine cyanolichens from different littoral zones are associated with distinct bacterial communities

Abstract : The microbial diversity and function of terrestrial lichens have been well studied, but knowledge about the non-photosynthetic bacteria associated with marine lichens is still scarce. 16S rRNA gene Illumina sequencing was used to assess the culture-independent bacterial diversity in the strictly marine cyanolichen species Lichina pygmaea and Lichina confinis, and the maritime chlorolichen species Xanthoria aureola which occupy different areas on the littoral zone. Inland terrestrial cyanolichens from Austria were also analysed as for the marine lichens to examine further the impact of habitat/lichen species on the associated bacterial communities. The L. confinis and L. pygmaea communities were significantly different from those of the maritime Xanthoria aureola lichen found higher up on the littoral zone and these latter communities were more similar to those of the inland terrestrial lichens. The strictly marine lichens were dominated by the Bacteroidetes phylum accounting for 50% of the sequences, whereas Alphaproteobacteria, notably Sphingomonas, dominated the maritime and the inland terrestrial lichens. Bacterial communities associated with the two Lichina species were significantly different sharing only 33 core OTUs, half of which were affiliated to the Bacteroidetes genera Rubricoccus, Tunicatimonas and Lewinella, suggesting an important role of these species in the marine Lichina lichen symbiosis. Marine cyanolichens showed a higher abundance of OTUs likely affiliated to moderately thermophilic and/or radiation resistant bacteria belonging to the Phyla Chloroflexi, Thermi, and the families Rhodothermaceae and Rubrobacteraceae when compared to those of inland terrestrial lichens. This most likely reflects the exposed and highly variable conditions to which they are subjected daily.
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Nyree J. West, Delphine Parrot, Claire Fayet, Martin Grube, Sophie Tomasi, et al.. Marine cyanolichens from different littoral zones are associated with distinct bacterial communities. PeerJ, PeerJ, 2018, 6, pp.e5208. ⟨10.7717/peerj.5208⟩. ⟨hal-01861415⟩

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